Collaborative Circle Blog

Announcing! Making Meaning Grading Support for Grades 2–6

Second- through sixth-grade teachers of the Making Meaning program, let’s jump right into this hot topic!


Let’s start by considering the best practices in assessment as outlined in the Best Practice: Bringing Standards to Life in America’s Classrooms, 4th ed., and in the Introduction of the Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual:

  1. Read the two quotes.
  2. Reflect on your own “best practice” for gathering and using assessments.
  3. Consider how you are using the assessments in the Making Meaning program to make instructional decisions about students’ development over time.

“Best practices assessment focuses on the knowledge and abilities that are key to best practice learning, and on complex whole outcomes and performance of writing, reading, researching and problem solving rather than only on isolated subskills.”

Zemelman et al, 2012


“The assessment component of the Making Meaning program is designed to help you (1) make informed instructional decisions as you teach the lessons and (2) track your students’ reading comprehension and social development over time. The expectation is that all of your students are developing—at their own pace—into readers with high levels of comprehension and that they can each develop positive, effective interpersonal skills and values.”

Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual


As we transition to grading, consider the following questions:

  • How do the assessments connect to how students are developing at their own pace?
  • How does the information from these assessments inform supporting individual students?

To learn more, read our blog, “The Power of ‘Most, Some, or Few.’”


Let’s continue the conversation by focusing on grading. At Collaborative Classroom, we realize there are a number of reasons educators assess students; one reason is to get a grade. Teachers across the country have asked, “How do we get grades in the Making Meaning program?” In response, Collaborative Classroom is pleased to offer the following grading supports for Making Meaning, grades 2–6:

Download your grade-specific support document and read the first two pages. Before proceeding, make a list of the ways you have gathered grades for reading in the past. Then, as you explore the specific grading opportunities offered throughout the document, consider what is consistent with your grading practices and what might be new. Consider how you will use this document to support you in gathering information about your students’ progress towards intended outcomes and in assigning grades accordingly.

It is our hope that these grading supports for grades 2–6 of the Making Meaning program will help you get grades as well as make informed instructional decisions as you teach Making Meaning lessons and track your students’ literacy development over time.

Please share your reactions and how you have used these grading supports with the Collaborative Classroom Community on Facebook.

Coming Soon! Grading support for Making Meaning in Gr. K–1.

(Note: The grading support documents are marked as “draft.” Once edited, the final versions will be released on the Learning Hub.)